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February 2005 Issue

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NetWellness Hits Another Milestone

Published February 2005

UC diabetes expert and educator Robert Cohen, MD, has answered the 25,000th question on NetWellness (, which was one of the first consumer health information sites on the Internet when it was established nearly 10 years ago.

Dr. Cohen, an associate professor in the endocrinology and metabolism division at UC's Academic Health Center, provided a 500-word answer to a question about the progress of diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects the vision of some diabetes sufferers.

"I get great satisfaction from answering people's health-care questions in language they can understand," says Dr. Cohen, who has worked with NetWellness for about five years and answered nearly 250 questions.

Started by UC in 1995 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the nonprofit NetWellness site is now run jointly by UC, Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University.

Health care faculty from the three universities provide the answers for the NetWellness "Ask an Expert" service, which receives from 75 to 150 questions and adds over 100 news pages of information a week on hundreds of different health topics.

One reason for the increasing nationwide popularity of the service, says Steve Marine, NetWellness program director, is that users know the answers they receive from such respected sources as UC's Academic Health Center, Ohio State and Case Western Reserve are high quality and unbiased.

"And compared with some other online health sites," Marine says, "NetWellness is more personalized and directly addresses an individual's questions."

NetWellness experts respond to all legitimate questions, usually within two to five days, Marine points out. Nearly 300 NetWellness experts answer from 4,000 to 6,000 questions annually and have contributed over 30,000 searchable pages of reliable information on virtually all health topics.

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